“Hats off to him for standing up for what he believes is right. At the end of the day, business is business and the guy obviously has respect for himself and his talent and fights like this will help fighters in the future. I respect his willingness to fight for what’s right… I don’t think he’s retired. I don’t think he’s going to retire. Just a few days ago on his Instagram he said ‘hungry like day one’ and so a guy like Conor he’s a fighter and he is a winner. I don’t think he would want to go out on a loss. I think if he doesn’t fight again, his legacy is really that [Nate] Diaz fight. I’m pretty sure he’ll be back.”
-In an interview with FoxSports.com, UFC 197 headliner Jon Jones reacts to the Conor McGregor “retirement” and his being pulled from UFC 200.
Penick’s Analysis: Jones has been in conflict directly with the UFC before, he’s been in similar situations, and he’s got the right take here on McGregor. If it’s a money issue – which Dana White has tried to deny and downplay on Wednesday – then he’s using what leverage he has, and he’s not wrong to do so. If he has legitimate reasons for not wanting to travel this week, then the UFC is only hurting themselves by taking the hardline stance on media obligations. It’s hard to take that explanation at face value. This entire saga may not be done, but for now it’s easy to question the UFC’s move to pull McGregor, if that’s the decision they placed at him before his retirement tweet.
[Jon Jones art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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